March 14, 2018

Have you ever seen players on a sports team pile on top of each other after they win a big game?  A lot of times baseball teams will do it after they win the World Series, or basketball teams will do it if someone hits a game winning shot.  In high school, I found myself at the bottom of one of those piles after a huge soccer game that we won by one goal!  It looks like fun on TV, but when you are at the very bottom of the pile it is awful!  I literally couldn’t breath, I couldn’t move, I had a bunch of people right on top of me, and I was yelling as loud as I could for help but no one could really hear me.  And even if they could hear me, there wasn’t much they could do to help me.  I was trapped, I was bound, I was stuck, and there seemed to be no way out!  All I wanted was to be free of that pile, but that seemed impossible.  It was AWFUL!!!!  Eventually after what seemed like an eternity I ended up getting pulled out of the pile by my best friend.


A huge scheme or strategy of Satan is to make us feel the same way in our spiritual lives-trapped, stuck, no way out, and freedom seems impossible!  I want to encourage you to not believe his lies and schemes- we do not have to live bound by sin or unhealthy emotions (fear, anxiety, doubt, depression, etc.) and it is possible to be FREE!!!  I declare to you that Jesus wants us to live in freedom from bondage, and we are actually called to FREEDOM!  In fact, this is one of the reasons Christ died for us (Gal. 5:1; John 8:36). 


Check out these powerful verses (and this is just one of many passages that teaches freedom from sin):

“how can we who have died to sin still live in it?  We know that our old sinful selves (flesh) were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin.  For when we died with Christ, we were set free from the power of sin…For sin will not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.”  (Rom. 6:2,6-7,14).


Notice those verses are all in the past tense: we are not under sin’s power or dominion anymore; we have died to sin; our flesh has already been crucified with its desires and passions (also see Gal. 5:24); we are no longer slaves to sin!!!  That means that all of that is true of us now, but how do we live in its reality? 


I am going to give you two powerful and practical ways to live free from the bondage of sin and its effects (which includes anxiety, fear, depression, etc.):


1. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will NOT fulfill the lusts of the flesh”, (Gal. 5:16).    In other words, do not focus on defeating sin or not sinning, instead focus on walking in blissful fellowship with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14).  As you walk with Him in relationship, He begins to change and transform you (Phil. 2:13).  He (not you) will put to death the deeds of the flesh in you (Romans 8:13) as you simply walk with Him!  In other words, focus on relationship with Holy Spirit and He will transform you and set you free!


2. Believe that God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Cor. 12:9).  Grace is not just God’s unearned favor, but is also God’s empowerment and ability working in you (from your heart).  If you noticed in the above verses from Romans, Paul says that sin does not have dominion over you because you are not under the law, but under GRACE!  So believe from your heart that God’s grace is enough to transform you-Believe and Receive His Grace (empowerment and ability)!  As you truly begin to believe this, His grace empowers you to walk in freedom!  You don’t earn it, you don’t work for it, instead you simply receive His grace by faith, and He through His grace empowers you to walk in freedom!  What a beautiful Gospel we have received!!!


Let me end with just a few other practical tips to get freedom: Renewing the mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:22-24); Know (experience) and Believe the Truth (John 8:31-32); Behold Him and His glory (2 Cor. 3:17-18).



Have a blessed week, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday as our Guest Speaker Ken Grenfell ministers to our family!!!



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